GREEN BERETS Conway, James Bennett

John Robertson

Staff member
James Bennett
  • UNIT
5 SF Group (Company B,Det A-215)
  • RANK
Distinguished Service Cross
South Vietnam 1966
KIA - see Roll of Honour



Distinguished Service Cross : The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918 (amended by act of July 25, 1963), takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross (Posthumously) to Captain (Infantry) James Bennett Conway (ASN: 0-94578), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam, while serving with 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces. On 12 April 1966, Captain Conway was serving as the Senior Special Forces Advisor to a reconnaissance patrol operating in the Ia Drang Valley in the Republic of Vietnam. As the patrol screened their assigned area, they came under hostile automatic weapons fire which wounded several and halted their progress. After insuring the safety of the wounded, Captain Conway led the friendly forces in an assault which routed the Viet Cong from their positions of concealment. As the friendly forces pursued the hostile contingent, they came upon a well-positioned insurgent force of company size. Despite the hostile force's numerical and positional advantage, Captain Conway led the patrol in successful attacks claiming many insurgent lives. With complete disregard for his own personal safety, Captain Conway courageously engaged a well-fortified insurgent machine gun position at extremely close range with grenades and small arms fire. Throughout this action, he continually exposed himself to murderous fire to insure the success of the assault. When the Viet Cong maneuvered to encircle the hard-pressed patrol, Captain Conway planned and led an evasion route in order to regroup the force and continue the attack. As the hostile machine gun fire increased, Captain Conway again exposed himself to heavy Viet Cong fire and directed effective suppressive fire with effective results. During the final stages of the friendly evasive action, Captain Conway was mortally wounded while engaging friendly troops positioned about him. Captain Conway's extraordinary heroism and supreme sacrifice were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Army and reflect great credit upon himself and the military service.

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